Work experience can help you prepare for your career, gain exposure to the Canadian workplace, earn extra money, and form a closer connection to the local community.
As an international student, there are several types of work you can do in Canada. Some of them will require applying for a specific work permit. Use the section below to determine what type of work rules you need to follow.
If you will be working in a job in agriculture-related fields or public health or health sciences (e.g. health care workers, clinical laboratory workers, medical students, primary and secondary school teachers) and you will be in close contact with patients, children, the elderly, etc., you must complete a medical exam.
A medical exam is required to ensure you have the right conditions placed on your study permit or work permit that allows you to work in these jobs before starting to work. Visit IRCC’s website to find out if you need a medical exam or meet with an International Student Advisor.
Mexican and U.S. citizens with a bachelor’s or licenciatura in certain fields may be eligible for a NAFTA work permit. Our office does not advise on eligibility for work permits under NAFTA, but detailed information can be found on the IRCC website.
If you would like to start your own business in British Columbia, please consult Small Business BC.
On-campus work: Conditions you have to meet
You do not need a work permit in order to work on campus while attending UBC, as your study permit gives you permission to work unlimited hours on-campus as long you are registered in full-time studies. There are certain conditions you must observe to work on campus.
Off-campus work: Conditions you have to meet
Students in degree, diploma or certificate programs do not need a work permit to work off campus while attending UBC, as your study permit gives you permission to work off campus as long as you are registered in full-time studies. If eligible, you can work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks. There are certain conditions you must observe to work off campus.
Co-op placement or internships: Permits required
You will need a Co-op work permit if the work is integral to your academic program. Remember to complete a medical exam before applying for your Co-op/internship work permit if your Co-op or internship is a job in
Volunteer (unpaid) or work that's NOT integral to your academic program: Conditions
Some volunteer positions and internships (paid or unpaid) may be considered work by IRCC – for example, if you volunteered for a job that is normally performed by paid employees (photocopying, customer service, etc.), it is considered work regardless of whether you are paid or not. Review the meaning of work according to the IRCC definition to decide. If your volunteer position or internship is considered work, you must have the appropriate work authorization before you start.